Deceptive Salary


Below is something I found very interesting.   People can debate our pay all they want but they cannot debate the hours we put into this career.  We do this because education and training matter.  No other medical “provider” puts in this much time.  To say this doesn’t mean anything is ludicrous!


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  5 comments for “Deceptive Salary

  1. Ronald S Goings
    May 15, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    My son-in-law is a teacher, I sent him this note and here was his reply

    To: Ronald Goings

    [email protected]

    I respectfully disagree…

    The point of this graphic is not to conclude that teachers make too much, but that (given the costs and time) that docs don’t make all that much either. (And yes, I believe these are two, very different points.) I come to this because the author(s) don’t back up much of their teacher figures with clear data/sources/calculations. For example, why does the loan debt of the doctors accrue interest over the course of 20 years, but not the teachers’ debt? I can see that the authors of this graphic do seem to consider some added cost for becoming a teacher above $100K for undergrad, but it isn’t clear how the $186K figure for debt is determined for teachers as compared to docs. So you cannot logically and soundly say that these figures are representative for the teachers’ side to be evaluated.

    Another example: I cannot tell you if it is the average, but many of my peers and I went to graduate school and received advanced degrees (albeit for shorter programs than med school). This means that there are potentially (and certainly when considering my career trajectory) inaccuracies in this graphic. For example:
    1. It is not only 6,400 hrs of training to become a teacher. I completed the coursework of my undergraduate degree in conjunction with my graduate work (i.e., I was taking up to 16 credit hours for the last 3 years of my 5 year program; not the average 12). Factoring this in should add approximately half of the hours added to the doc’s time for medical school. It’s not much, I know, but it is not included in the graphic…

    2. Much like residency (however with zero pay and zero stipends), student teaching and my 3 practicum experiences (~4 semesters in all) had me working in schools without compensation. This too should add to the hours worked by teachers over the course of their careers, however this is also not included in this graphic.

    3. The lifetime hours worked for teachers appears to be baseless/unsound because it does not consider the practicum experiences above and because it doesn’t clearly show how the life hours worked is calculated for teachers. My average work week while as a 1st year teacher was approximately 54 hours… only 5 hours below the average doctor. Yes, I worked 10 out of 12 months of the year, but these differences do not add up to the huge 2-to-1 gap in lifetime hours worked as portrayed by this graphic.

    Thought-provoking yes, but this graphic only really substantiates one side of the story…

    • Doug Farrago
      May 15, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      My mother and wife were teachers. They don’t get paid enough either.

  2. politovski
    May 11, 2014 at 12:38 am

    i also work 80-100 hours per week. i suppose they have to factor in radiology, dermatology, sleep medicine, administrators, the various insurance company dr. no’s and some of the other nonclinical folks into that, and that brings down our collective average.

  3. Jay Cooperman
    May 10, 2014 at 8:37 am

    What a great illustration! But seriously, only 59 hours per week?

    • private doc
      May 10, 2014 at 6:55 pm

      I am consistently at 100 hours per week myself.

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